“When Adar Begins, We Increase Joy” — Rav Berland Shlit”a on the Value of Happiness

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The month of Adar Bet has already begun, and the days of Purim are already approaching.  In honor of the month in which we have a mitzvah to increase joy, we present a collection of teachings of our Rebbe Rav Eliezer Berland shlit”a on the great value of happiness.

What is the main war in the world?

What is it possible to merit through joy?

The benefits which are caused through happiness

Rabbi Natan of Breslov says that the main work of a person is the war with sadness.  For this, one needs self-sacrifice, to never let sadness gain control.

A person says, “It’s hard for me to be happy.”  What?  It’s only difficult for you to be happy?  It’s difficult for everyone to be happy!  Happiness is only with self-sacrifice.  A person reaches happiness only through self-sacrifice.

This is the work of the Evil One, to not be happy, to not dance, to not rejoice.  Because there are endless reasons to be sad, but you need to know that there are all types of klipot (unholy husks/forces) on a person, and happiness is the only thing that shatters the klipot.  This purifies from the impurity of death.

Every person goes through insults and disgrace.  The fact of the tribulations which happen to each person in body and spirit, which such great intensity and strength, until it becomes the nature of a person to be sad.  This is nature, not to be happy.

The sadness overwhelms [a person] until they need self-sacrifice mamash against it, like a person who goes on kiddush Hashem.

Rebbe Nachman of Breslov says in his book “Sefer HaMidot” (Simchah Pt. 2, 1): “He who is always happy, through this he succeeds.”  This is the matter of Yosef HaTzaddik, that they said in the Midrash that he was a kafuz man, and the Matnot Kehunah interprets this: “A man who skips, is cheerful, and happy, and a good heart.  Skips on the mountains.”  He dances in the prison.  Thirteen years he doesn’t stop dancing.  Hashem is with him.  He only sees Hashem.

“I will descend with you to Egypt and I will certainly also bring you up.”  He only sees the “I am Hashem.”  He doesn’t see Egypt, he doesn’t see Pharaoh, he doesn’t see anything.  He only sees Hashem.  Even though he is alone, and they already threw him out of the house, sold him to Arabs, and now he is in prison on a blood libel, and after all of this he skips, is cheerful, and happy, because he is with Hashem.  Then he, Yosef HaTzaddik, merits to be one of the Seven Shepherds.  Specifically after everything they do to him, “Yosef was a successful man.”

Through constant happiness, one merits and is included in the Kadosh Baruch Hu, and does His will. (Tefilah L’Ani)

If a person knew the greatness of his soul root, he would fly in the air from such great happiness. (Tefilah L’Ani)

One who doesn’t fall from joy and happiness in Hashem in his descents, merits to awesome ascents and to G-dly revelations like one of the great Bnei Aliyah (those who ascend on high). (Tefilah L’Ani)

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The main thing is happiness, and all arousal is only for the sake of serving Hashem with greater skill and greater strength, and G-d forbid [that one should] fall from anything, only to ascend, to be elevated more and more with incredible happiness, with incredible holiness until no end and no understanding.  (Aley Siyach, a book which contains Rav Berland’s letters over decades)

…The main thing is to know that you need to do everything with incredible happiness, until no end and no understanding, as is written, “to do great wonders alone, because His kindness is forever.” (Aley Siyach)

Now, we only need to strengthen ourselves with all our power in Rabbeinu Nachman of Breslov, and to rejoice with him, because the main thing is only the happiness with the Rebbe.  Outside of this, everything is delusions.  All the worries are delusions.  From all the problems, there will only be joy and happiness, and in every person it will happen that all his days of mourning will turn into joy and happiness.  A person’s obligation is only to rejoice, rejoice, and rejoice…without end, as Rabbi Natan of Breslov writes to his son, that “you will be regretful for every time that you weren’t happy.”

Because life passes by and a person asks himself, “Why wasn’t I happy before, because everything passes, everything is only delusions.”  Because the main obligation is to know this from the beginning, and only to dance and dance, as Rabbeinu Rebbe Nachman writes, that he who is always happy wins.  (Aley Siyach)

The main thing is to be like the Simpleton (a character from Rebbe Nachman’s book “Sippurey Ma’asiot”), to rejoice in his portion, even if it’s a shoes of three sides, and to rejoice in Hashem with enthusiasm, because Hashem won’t abandon you, and you will ascend higher and higher in the heights of Torah.  You will see incredible success in all the work of your hands, and you don’t have anything to worry about.  (Aley Siyach)

The main thing is to safeguard constant happiness.  Also hitbodedut needs to be in this fashion, to bring incredible happiness, because the entire foundation of Rabbeinu is happiness, and there is a great obligation to rejoice in every single mitzvah, and in every good point.  And however much we merit to rejoice more and more, so we will merit to all good and to ascend higher and higher in Torah and fear.  Because full trust — the feeling that Hashem is with us nonstop, and we shouldn’t allow any thought of sadness to enter us, not to be impoverished in thought, only happy with incredible happiness without end.  (Aley Siyach)

The main thing is to never forget to strengthen ourselves every time with greater happiness, and to believe with complete faith that everything that happens to me is for my good, and not to be pained too much about anything, only to strengthen ourselves with Hashem’s joy all day.  Then we will see Hashem’s salvations in everything we turn to.  (Aley Siyach)

We need to be so cautious about sadness, like we are cautious about the worst enemy, and not to let sadness to get close to me in any way.  (Aley Siyach)

The main thing is to know, that every time a person needs a salvation, he is tested from on high.  And the main test, that they bring to him some situation, and they want to know if he really will strengthen himself in true happiness;  and when he truly strengthens himself, then this is the sign that he really wanted to do the will of Hashem blessed is He.  Since when a person strengthens himself in happiness, this is a sign — so I heard from Rav Betzalel Friedman — that he really does search every single moment to the will of Hashem blessed is He.  Therefore, what difference does it make to him where he is found and what is being done with him?  Behold, every single moment it’s upon me to give pleasure to my Creator and Master.  And if so, at this moment it’s upon me to give Him pleasure through me strengthening myself in greater happiness and without end, and [I] feel mamash Hashem’s kindness that he did with me, and does with me in every single moment.  (Aley Siyach)

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